Did you know that World Music Day is quickly approaching on the 21st of June 2019? It is also known as Fête de la Musique or Make Music Day and has been celebrated since 1982. The festival began in France and encourages amateur and professional musicians alike to perform in the streets or in free concerts. If you are a professional or an amateur musician, you need to be aware of how music is protected by Intellectual Property Law. Even the most famous musicians probably wished they had taken greater legal steps to protect their music in their early careers. To give an example, in 1971 George Harrison was successfully sued for unintentionally copying a song from the Chiffons. Even though the judge believed that song was only subconsciously copied, Harrison had to pay an estimated $1.5 million! Are you ready to rock? Our LawBrief, Marilee Owens-Richards, shares everything you must know on the topic. Music is protected by copyright law in several ways. The owner of the copyright has a number of exclusive rights in the work, such as the right to reproduce the work, distribute the work, perform in public, make recordings and to make derivative works.
In general, there are two types of music copyright. One is for the song or the composition and the other protects the recording or performance of a song. The songwriting or composition copyright arises when a song is completed and then “fixed” by writing it out. The recording copyright arises when the song is played and recorded. The two copyrights may be owned by the same person or different parties. Frequently, musicians will transfer at least the recording copyright to a music label, if not the composition copyright as well.
There are two types of music copyright. One is for the song or the composition and the other protects the recording or performance of a song
Make sure that you use copyright notices
Registration helps you prove ownership of your work
Make sure that you understand when and how you are transferring your copyright
At LawBite we provide quick, affordable and easy to understand legal consultation. We provide a 15 minute legal consultation with our Intellectual Property lawyers. If you need business legal advice, please enter an enquiry or call us today on 020 7148 1066 to speak to a member of our friendly Client Care Team.
The author of this article is expert LawBrief Marilee Owens-Richards. Marilee Owens-Richards has over 10 years of experience in IP, IT and commercial law. Marilee qualified in the US (New York State) in 2007. She moved to the UK and qualified in England and Wales in 2009. She has experience working with a range of clients from small businesses to large multinational corporations. Since 2012 she has worked with Monotype, Ericsson and Epicor. She is available to consult for a range of IP and IT matters.
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